Mountain HIgh 

You might think that an outdoor stud like Comrade Calendar would be above lowly celebrity worship, but you’d be mistaken. In between ice-climbing trips and extreme heli-mountain biking, I make sure to stay current on the comings and goings of our “most important citizens.”

And there have been some important goings of late.

Here in the newsroom, we normally pay our tributes to the fallen famous with stoic reverence, erecting small shrines in the corners and carrying on hushed conversations in the hallways.

No longer, I say. According to Democracy Now’s website, cable and radio talk shows devoted a mere 37 percent of their air time to one notable icon in the two days after her passing. Today, I rectify this imbalance by focusing 100 percent of my coverage on the question, “How Would Anna Nicole Smith Recreate?”

This week, ANS might have a hard time deciding—there’s just too much good stuff happening. I have a feeling, though, that she’d make the drive to the Red Lodge Mountain Resort for their “Cartoon Capers Winter Carnival,” which starts Fri., Feb. 23, at 4 PM with a parade in downtown Red Lodge. The weekend-long events include downhill racers donning cardboard cartoon-themed creations for their descents, uphill skinning competitions, jalapeño eating contests and so on. Visit or call 446-2610.

Should Anna decide that Red Lodge is a bit far to drive, perhaps she’d head to the Snowbowl Cup Gelande from Fri., Feb. 23 through Sun., Feb. 25, where fixed-heel ski jumpers sail 200 feet through the air in pursuit of the $8,000 purse, the largest on the circuit. Now, eight grand would be peanuts to ANS, but the event will draw all kinds of spectators and media, so my guess is she’d fit right in. Visit for registration info.

But maybe Anna wouldn’t feel like skiing—who’s to say? She could decide to join Missoulians on Bicycles for their Graveyards to Grits Geezer Ride at 10 AM on Sat., Feb. 24. She’d steer her cruiser to the corner of Locust and Monroe streets, ready for an easy 15-mile ride that concludes with a delicious meal, and she’d call 240-9279 with any color-coordination concerns.

ANS also knows what it’s like to soar on gilded wings, which is why she might choose to kick it with the Five Valleys Audubon Society on their field trip to Smurfit-Stone Container to look for waterfowl. On Sat., Feb. 24, she’d have her driver deliver her to the UM Fieldhouse parking lot at 10 AM, or else she’d be at Smurfit-Stone’s main gate at 10:30. Larry Weeks, the trip leader, would wait anxiously for her call at 549-5632.

From close readings of People, we all know ANS was a uniter, so the prospect of accompanying the Rocky Mountaineers and the Bitterroot-Mission Group of the Sierra Club on their joint cross-country ski trip to Bobcat Creek on Sat., Feb. 24, would have tickled her fancy. Though trip organizers report that beginners might find some sections of the trip challenging, she would neither balk nor bail. If she wanted to offer rides to other skiers, or confirm other details of the trip, she’d call Julie Kahl at 543-6508.

One of the great things about ANS was her versatility, which leads me to believe—call me crazy—that she might choose snowshoeing over skiing. If so, the New Rocky Mountaineers would gladly take her on their Sat., Feb. 24, snowshoe trip to Boulder Point, about 20 miles south of Darby. She’d enjoy the views into Idaho and the jagged peaks of the southern Bitterroots, and if she wanted to know how many bottles of Evian to bring, she’d call Gerald Olbu at 549-4769.

Of course, Anna’s history of supporting those in need could lead her to attend the Lost Trail Ski Patrol Steak Fry on Sat., Feb. 24, at 4:30 PM. She’d eat a variety of grilled foods and enjoy a torchlight parade and fireworks, all for the reasonable price of $6–12, depending upon which menu items she chose. And she’d call 363-2930 if she had questions.

If her internal compass were to steer her north instead, she might take in an invigorating day of skiing on Sat., Feb. 24, after which she could indulge in Big Mountain’s SNOW Bus Winefest starting at 6 PM. For just $40, Anna could dine and choose from among 70 wines, with representatives from regional vineyards on hand to answer questions, or hold back the paparazzi. The fact that the event is yet another benefit would surely warm the cockles of her heart as well. If Anna wanted to make his day, she’d call Rick Cunningham at 253-9192.

And finally, ANS might scoop up a handful of elders and head to Currents Aquatics Center for Senior Week, which runs from Mon., Feb. 26 through Fri., Mar. 2. She’d assist her wrinkled buds in as many of the free fitness classes as they could stand, and they’d do their best to get there before 1 PM, when there are fewer squeaky kids running around.

For a shot at a hot pink “H.W.A.N.S.R?” rubber bracelet, send me your favorite celebrity memory, as well as your outdoor events info.

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